Matchday 17 of La Liga features a top-four battle as leader Barcelona visits fourth-place Real Sociedad on Saturday. Barca is 11-1-3 and just ahead of rival Real Madrid days ahead of El Clasico, while Sociedad is 8-3-5 but has won just one of of its last four games. It's a match Barca is expected to win, but the hosts have been in surprisingly good form this season with an on-loan start making the difference.

Here's how you can watch the match and what to know:

Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 14
  • Time: 10 a.m. ET
  • Location: Reale Arena
  • TV channel: beIN Sports
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

Storylines

Barcelona: The first El Clasico of the season is on Wednesday against Real Madrid, but don't expect Barca to rest many players for this one. In the 2-1 win at Inter Milan on Tuesday in the Champions League, only two regular starters played and Lionel Messi was rested for the match. This team will go with everything it has over the next two games as it looks to grab a strong hold of first place. 

Real Sociedad: The difference for this team this year has been Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian talent, who years ago was looked at as the next big thing in the sport, has blossomed as of late. On loan from Real Madrid, he's got three goals in 13 matches. His creativity has been the key to this team's attack, and his sure play on the ball gets other playmakers into space. If Real Sociedad pulls off a win, it will be because of him. 

Prediction

In a tough match that is tied late, Barca gets the magical winner from Messi to move on.

Pick: Barcelona 2, Real Sociedad 1